Olive Leaf

A restaurant that we reserve for special occasions

This was not our first time in Olive Leaf, a restaurant that we reserve for special occasions. For one thing it is located inside Sheraton Hotel, which gives it an elegant feel. And then it is also a chef restaurant, headed by Charlie Fadida. And we love the way he interprets the Mediterranean cuisine with different raw materials and techniques from Greece, Italy and France. All of these make for beautiful delicious dishes.

Take for example the tomato gazpacho that we were served for starters. Ripe tomatoes, garlic, some olive oil and spices – as basic as it gets – but with a little surprise of coriander pesto at the bottom of the glass that gave every straw sip a wonderful twist. With it we nibbled on some Moroccan bread and olive bread, both made on the premises, with garlic, olive and pesto dips.

Our first courses are another example of a culinary fusion. One is a spectacular foie gras kanafeh – layers of burnt foie gras, caramelized onion and a crispy coating of fresh kadaif noodles, decorated with red grapefruit vinaigrette and fresh berries. The combination of textures – smooth liver and crispy noodles – and tastes – sweet onion and sour fruits – made for a unique dish. On the other side of the table, burnt sweetbreads were attached with soft gnocchi that were stir-fried in rich meat broth to observe its flavors. The gnocchi, by the way, also starred in a vegetarian dish, with green peas and mint crème, decorated by cherry tomatoes. By to the number of times it was served to the tables around us, I can say it is one of the favorites.

But we were into meat. My partner got a colorful generous sirloin cut in spice herbs and wine, served with a side dish of grilled vegetables and root crème. I got the butcher's cut, which was served un-orthodoxly: thin slices placed on a root vegetables cream "wave" decorated with meat broth and grilled vegetables.

On our waiter's recommendation, we had the Galil Mountain winery's Yiron wine, which is a true discovery. A blend of cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot and merlot, full bodied with a fruit flavor and soft tannins.

Desserts, as you know, are one of the most challenging tests in kosher restaurants, but Olive Leaf passed this one with flying colors. My chocolate loving partner chose the obvious chocolate soufflé with berry sauce and grilled pistachios, and loved the combination. I, the adventurous one, took the waiter's recommendation – a pear trio which was made of hot pears soufflé, pears soaked in white wine with spices and nut sorbet. I added to it some of my partner's chocolate marquise, and it was beautiful. You can call this one after me.